In a suit, a woman claims a customs agent forced her to become an informant
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 21, 2014
A Hawaii woman who ran an escort service said in a lawsuit that a federal agent entrapped her in a methamphetamine case, forced her to be his informant and sexually assaulted her.
The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court on March 27 said a special agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arranged a drug deal that led to the woman's arrest. The lawsuit says that after her arrest, the agent told her she could avoid incarceration at Honolulu's Federal Detention Center if she acted as his informant.
The lawsuit also says the agent sexually assaulted her while she was handcuffed to a table at the Honolulu office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and that the agent forced her to live with a convicted felon and rapist to get information that could lead to his arrest.
The Associated Press doesn't identify those who say they have been sexually assaulted. The AP isn't naming the agent because he hasn't been charged criminally. Reached at his office last week, he declined to comment on the allegations. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The agent isn't being sued in his official capacity, and his employer isn't named as a defendant.
When asked why the woman hasn't notified police of the sex assault, her attorney Gary Dubin said she doesn't believe authorities are inclined to help her.
The agent signed the criminal complaint in the woman's ongoing federal meth distribution case. She was sent to the Federal Detention Center after she allegedly violated conditions that allowed her to remain at a halfway house. She's accused of communicating with someone at the house she wasn't allowed to communicate with, Dubin said.
"She denies that she committed any violation," he said. "She feels she's being set up because there are people who would like to have her disappear from planet Earth."
The lawsuit prompted U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal investigators to come to Honolulu and interview the woman at the Federal Detention Center last week, Dubin said.